No Wonder I Drank to Fit In

The Small Victories in Recovery

A couple days ago, I arrived at a Mountain Retreat nestled in farm country in Vermont. 20160516_054146 I won a contest that I entered back in January.  I would not have known anything about the contest or this place if it hadn’t been for a friend that told me about it.

“God Bless the Freaks”

When I am in an AA Meeting, no matter where that Meeting is, I feel like I belong, right down to my core. Several times when I have been on the road and unable to make a meeting for a couple days when I do, there is a slow inhale and exhale – a reconnection, a “Honey, I am home” feeling. That feeling eluded me for 51 years.  That feeling eluded me again last night.

When I am with creatives, very much like my friend, I feel like we understand each other. Much like my friend, (the normal one who told me about the contest), creatives can be a joy to be around.  There is laughter, there is empathy, they are interesting.  And because we all feel at ease, we open up to one another in a way we don’t feel like we could if we were hanging out in a room full of Engineers.

But there is a difference with that feeling with creatives than it is in a Meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous.  No one is going to die if they don’t go to their Writing Group. The reality of my disease, the honesty and raw nature of what we talk about is completely lost on someone that is a creative writer.  When I share about our disease, they are open to it. Many have had alcoholics in their lives and are grasping to understand.

But what I am understanding is, the intense gratitude I have for finally – FINALLY finding the depth of belonging, the understanding and emotional devotion of AA and my fellow alcoholic.  The necessity of carrying the message to the struggling alcoholic that has not felt the relief and connection I have being with “My Tribe.”

Let’s Pretend

If I was still drinking I would never have been here.  But let’s just say IF I was still alive and I managed to shake, rattle and roll my way through the back roads of paradise with plenty of “supplies” to get here without “the wheels coming off.”

Last night would have been a disaster.  I always thought I was a creative that was my Tribe. I didn’t feel pressure of acceptance in how I dressed, looked and talked in order to fit in. Until I found AA, I thought that was enough.

But Now I Know

The reality of the daily life and death situation that alcoholism deals us, puts us at a level of belonging and understanding a little different than wearing weird shoes or having a tattoo to express ourselves. Certainly that is PART of me too, but the simple fact of living “One Day At A Time” because tomorrow I could be dead based on my choice or whether or not to drink, is quite different.  We don’t have time for flowery language, pretty creative sayings on the wall, there is too much at stake and we know it.

I must have needed to be reminded. I am grateful.




What Do I Fear About Peace?

It has been such a nice day.  The weather is beautiful – a Maine spring is on its way, the sun is warm and there was no biting wind today.  I went to my morning meeting with the usual list of things to do afterward.  Everything was great.

Long overdo errands were done, plenty of time left in the day to go downtown and take myself on an Artist’s date.  Went to “Bookstore Day,”  did a little shopping, bought and ate some lunch alone and “people watched.”

Not Living in the Moment

The whole day I was distracted. Waiting for something to happen bad.  It was the strangest feeling – no conflict.  It was like I couldn’t let myself relax and enjoy the time.  I was rushing like I was on someone else’s schedule.

My last errand of the day was at a grocery store. For a Saturday afternoon, the place was a ghost town.  There were no crowds, no traffic – even the normally ridiculous parking lot was practically empty.  I was stunned.  It occurred to me then that I was looking for trouble all day and disappointed when I didn’t find it.  Instead of feeling happy and content ,  I was feeling anxious and looking for a dark cloud.

Home Again

I am home tonight and ahead of schedule with my errands, writing and ready for the week with Sunday still ahead to hang out a little with my writing crowd. I am happy that I am noticing this now.  I didn’t take time to meditate this morning and I am going to make sure I take some time tonight and tomorrow.  Maybe that will help.

I still don’t know “peace.”   I am closing in on 3 years of sobriety and I don’t understand a life without back to back keeping busy for the sake of being busy.  Not being with myself, walking with my Higher Power – really handing it over.  I wonder if this is what I am running from?